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North Dakota pheasant, sharptail and partridge harvests decline from 2020, Game and Fish Department says

The overall decline was likely a result of fewer hunters and below average reproduction, upland game biologist RJ Gross said.

Pheasants
Trio of rooster pheasants.
Contributed/North Dakota Game and Fish Department
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BISMARCK – Upland game hunters in North Dakota last year shot fewer pheasants, sharptails and Hungarian partridges than they did in 2020, the Game and Fish Department said this week.

RJ Gross.jpg
R.J. Gross, upland game biologist, North Dakota Game and Fish Department.
Contributed / North Dakota Game and Fish Department

The overall harvest decline was likely a result of fewer hunters and below average reproduction, upland game biologist RJ Gross said.

“We anticipated a slight decrease in upland game harvest for the fall in 2021 based on small brood sizes and a decline in observations per mile during our late summer roadside counts,” Gross said. “Although anecdotal reports from hunters indicated 2021 reproduction was better than we reported, the juvenile-to-adult ratio from our hunter-submitted wings confirmed that 2021 reproduction was below average for pheasants and sharptail.”

READ MORE HUNTING COVERAGE:
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Harvest by species broke down as follows.

  • Pheasants: Last year, 47,020 pheasant hunters shot 259,997 roosters, down 18% and 21%, respectively, from 57,141 hunters and 330,668 roosters in 2020. Counties with the highest percentage of pheasants taken were Hettinger, Divide, Bowman, Williams and Stark.
  • Sharptails: A total of 15,762 grouse hunters shot 45,732 sharptails, down 21% and 47%, respectively, from 19,971 hunters and 86,965 sharptails in 2020. Counties with the highest percentage of sharptails taken were Mountrail, Burleigh, Ward, Divide and Kidder.
  • Hungarian partridge: Last year, 14,013 hunters shot 44,822 Hungarian partridges, down 17% and 14%, respectively, from 2020, when 16,795 hunters harvested 52,251 Huns. Counties with the highest percentage of Hungarian partridge taken were Mountrail, Ward, Stark, Williams and Divide.
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